Infinity Dreams Award

I was tagged by the lovely Kaitlyn Deann for this awesome blog award!

11 facts about myself:

1) I am a female college student who cannot put on make up.

2) I once mistook a feral emu for a velociraptor. (Talk about screaming.)

3) I know both embroidery and archery.

4) My mom’s parents grew up on opposite sides of WWII.

5) I once set the microwave on fire.

6) I have bottle raised baby goats, sheep, rabbits, three puppies, and one donkey.

7) I know more about the Roman Empire than today’s Top 40 list.

8) On bad days, I sometimes wear a hooded cloak to school.

9) I get excited about politics.

10) I still fast-forward sex scenes on TV.

11) My first car was older than me.

11 Questions from Kaitlyn:

1) What’s your favorite quote?

“Oh, Death, where is your sting? Oh, Hell, where is your victory?”

2) What’s your least favorite holiday?

Thanksgiving. Just lots of dirty dishes and caloric temptations eager to insulate my thighs.

Schnay is the pretty one to the right.

Schnay is the pretty one to the right.

3) How many books in a year do you normally read?

Aww…gee…My record is 78, but since starting college and writing, it’s closer to 30-35. I am not proud of this.

4) Do you have a pet(s)? Tell us about it/them.

I have my Jack Rusell Terrier, Schnay, who is my baby even though she just celebrated her 8th birthday. We used to show in agility, rally obedience, go-to-ground, and lots of other fun stuff, but she’s been pretty much retired since I started college.

5) What’s the meaning behind your name?

My first name means “one to whom God is an oath” or so I have been told. My middle name is a variation of Mary, which means bitter, so I guess that would be “bitter one to whom God is an oath.” Not sure what to make of that.

6) If you could live in any book’s world, where would you live?

NARNIA, HERE I COME!!!

7) What book has inspired you the most in your writing?

Depends what I’m writing, really. My first series was great influenced by Madeleine L’Engle’s The Time Quintet, particularly the morality. But really, it just depends.

8) What do you prefer to do on a hot summer day?

Whine about the heat and go swimming. Or go running to work on my tan and have everyone tell me how nuts I am. (Did I mention I’m vain?)

9) Stargazing or netflixing with someone you love to be around?

Stargazing, every time it’s an option. TV producers think they can compete with the cosmic masterpiece of God Himself? LOL.

10) Do you watch TV? If yes, what’s your favorite show?

I do watch TV, but extremely rarely. Right now, my favorite show (that has not be cancelled or finished) would probably be Doctor Who. However, I’m so behind on watching it, I may hate what Moffat has done by now.

11) And lastly… What’s your life motto?

“My one defense, my righteousness, oh God how I need You.”-Matt Maher

 

Tag 11 Bloggers

Eli Hinze

Melissa Sasina

M.A. Bronson

Sherry Fundin

Allyssa Painter

Rose D’Andrea

Intisar Khanani

Laura Thomas

Catherine Gregoire

Cassandra Loskot

Anna Simpson

Guidelines for Tagged Bloggers:

– Use the Infinity Dreams Award picture
– Thank the blogger who tagged you (that’s me, Elisabeth Wheatley!)
– Tell us 11 facts about yourself
– Answer the 11 questions (below)
– Tag 11 bloggers

The Questions YOU Answer:
1) What’s your favorite part of being a blogger?
2) If you could spend one day as any animal, what would it be?
3) Hardcovers or Paperbacks?
4) Favorite book-to-movie adaptation? Why?
5) Biggest dream you’ve achieved so far?
6) Favorite musician/band and your favorite song from them?
7) Most anticipated book coming out this year?
8) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
9) Favorite outdoor activity?
10) Favorite indoor activity? (Not counting reading/writing.)
11) Something you’ve wanted to be asked in an interview? What’s your answer?

Review: World of the Beasts (The Witches’ Sleep Trilogy, #2) by Kaitlyn Deann @kaitlyn_deann

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Sea-Anna and Tuck have been weretiger slaves to the witches for over twenty years. But now, because their master happens to be the leader’s worst enemy, they have been sold to the beasts behind their master’s back. Sea-Anna and Tuck are separated, bought by two different beasts. Sea-Anna, who dreads the beasts more than anything, promises herself to stay strong, but not for herself, not to save her own life. She has to protect her secrets. But will she buckle under the pressure Aphalie, the world of the beasts, shoves at her? Or will she overcome the trials and become the weretiger she was always meant to be?

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of 5 stars

This is…wow. So much wow. I read the first book over a year ago and had forgotten what a skilled and talented authoress this young lady is. If she EVER even CONSIDERS putting a stop to her writing, I will have WORDS. No book is perfect and I did have some minor issues, but the overall storyline, character development, world building, plot twists…I was amazed by how well put together it was. The writer took her time with releasing this, getting everything just the way she wanted it, and I cannot argue with what a great book has resulted. Simply marvelous.

The plot:

I got to about 20% into this book and stopped. I knew bad things were about to happen and really didn’t want them to because I love the characters. However, an hour-long wait to take a college test forced me to stop being a baby and just read and I was so happy that I did.

I was never quite able to accurately predict what would happen. There were times when I thought “oh, the author would never let that happen” and then she DID. There were also times when I thought “oh, no, SHE’S GOING TO DO IT,” but she showed mercy on the characters (and I thank her for that). In short, this story was far from predictable and I enjoyed the not-knowing immensely.

The characters:

Sea-Anna is my dear little baby and I can’t say I was happy for most of this book because of that. She goes through a maelstrom of character development and it was wonderful to see how much stronger and wiser she had grown by the end. She was perfect before, but she somehow managed to become even more amazing.

Tuck also gets a few perspective chapters in this book and since he was one of my favorite characters in book 1, I loved it. I admit there were lots of twists about him that I didn’t see coming, but the fact remains that I adore him as much as Sea-Anna and that led to a great deal of stress. MAJOR stress.

Sunny still plays a large role in this book, despite a focus on Sea-Anna and her storyline. Some questions left open-ended in the first book come into play in her sequence and she makes some world-shattering discoveries about Raena and the whole of the world. The relationship between her and Clap continues to be precious and don’t even get me started on her and Kindness. <3 Everything about the way their dynamics are portrayed is adorable with just the perfect amount of grounding in reality.

SPOILERS

I said I had minor issues with a few things, but it was really only one thing—the whole element about Sea-Anna being used as a sex slave. For starters, I thought it strange that Sea-Anna would feel guilt over an interspecies carnal relationship, but not over the fact that she’s married.

Then there was Tuck’s reaction when he finds out that Sea-Anna was prostituted. I don’t mean toward the client who paid for her, but the man who did the selling. I would think that if I had found out that my spouse was used as a sex slave, I would be just a tad upset with the bloke who did the brokering. It doesn’t matter how pure or honest he might have seen his intentions when he prostituted her, the fact remains he prostituted her. There just didn’t seem to be any repercussions for Buck in that regard from Tuck or anyone, really.

SPOILER OVER

Overall, I adored this book. The new species that are introduced, the amazing handling of suspense and character development as well as the promise of an even juicier sequel have left me aching for the next book. Again, I say that Miss Deann better keep on writing because the world needs more books like this!

Find World of the Beasts on Goodreads

Find World of the Beasts on Amazon

Find World of the Beasts on BN.com

Top book series I wish had Fandoms

These eight book series are among my All Time Favorites and I believe they are tragically underrated. I see the memes and fangirling for The Hunger Games and The Mortal Instruments, and I can’t help but feel jealous and think “I know of books that are even better!” (Purely my opinion, but I didn’t particularly love The Hunger Games trilogy or City of Bones.) So I cannot hold it in any longer. Here are the top book series I believe should have massive fandoms of screaming fangirls and/or fanboys staying up until 2:00 a.m. to finish the latest installments or mourning the series’ conclusions. This list has expanded since I wrote the post, so you can expect a part 2!

The Cat’s Eye Chronicles by T.L. Shreffler

I discovered this series awhile back and downloaded the first, but only read it until recently. While I thought the first chapter was a bit slow, I quickly became engrossed in the story, only stopping for trivial things like eating. I went and downloaded the second book straightaway and am now living in agony waiting for the fourth/fifth’s release.

The Captive

This was my inaugural foray into vampire love stories. The writing can be rusty in places, but the story is absolutely, positively, awesome and the romance…oh, the romance! I was so sad to see the series end and ecstatic to hear of the author planning a spinoff!

The Sunbolt Chronicles

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From what I have seen, anything by Intisar Khanani is incredible. Her original worlds with heroines who are strong, but still relatable and empathetic are unquestionably underrated. For clean, action-packed, magic-brimming fantasy, Khanani is your go-to source!

Moonlit

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Horses, ancient love, horses, age-old prophecies, sorcery, horses, and a gloriously bad villain, what more could you want? I was not expecting to enjoy this book nearly as much as I did and I was highly impressed with the author’s talent. Definitely one worthy of a fandom and I will be stalking the internet for the first word of the trilogy conclusion.

The Witches’ Sleep by Kaitlyn Deann

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I’m normally not a fan of dystopia-esque stories, but this teen author’s debut novel was the clear exception. Paranormal excitement and political intrigue mix together in perfect harmony for a story that should be read, read, read by as many people as possible.

The Squire’s Tales by Gerald Morris

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Gerald Morris’ ingenious reimagining of the Arthurian legends are among my absolute favorites. Though this is more of an MG series, I am a HUGE fan of these books and wish more people were familiar with them so I could be accompanied in my mad fangirling.

The Guardians of Vesturon by A.M. Hargrove

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Another wonderful romance series from a brilliant mind. Though they might not be for everyone, I find it impossible not to adore monotheistic, honor-conscious, chaste, swoon-worthy aliens and I can’t be the only one. Forget vampire or werewolf, if I had my pick, I’d take a Vesturion Guardian before you could say “shadar.”

 

The Time Quintet by Madeleine L’Engle

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This series has the singular honor of being the only one I have read beginning to end more than once. I believe Madeleine L’Engle was a true literary genius, on par with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Her stories teach love, forgiveness, and courage in the most beautiful way and we can all learn from those lessons.

Review: The Witches’ Sleep (The Witches’ Sleep, #1) by Kaitlyn Deann

The Witches' Sleep (The Witches' Sleep, #1)

At only seventeen, Ella Barnes is shot and killed for an unknown reason. She is shocked when she wakes up in a different world, a world of witches. Ella has to learn to adapt to a new body, new life and new world, surrounded by new people. As Ella gets to know Raena, the world of the witches and its people, she realizes they aren’t the perfect creatures they believe themselves to be, and she’s not the type of person to stand around and twiddle her thumbs. Will Ella succeed in changing the mindset of the people? Or will she be doomed to die another cold and tragic death because of her rebellion?

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of 5 stars

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again—dystopia and I have a bad history. Suzanne Collins broke my heart and I haven’t been especially drawn to any dystopias since forcing myself to read about Katniss. That being said, this is nothing like any of those or really anything I’ve read in a long time. It was centered much more around mercy, forgiveness, and justice than other titles in my literary diet have been lately and it was refreshing. In fact, the messages Ms. Deann conveys greatly remind me of those in Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quintet, which is one of my favorite series of all time and is the only one I have ever read twice. (Even if I have a much less pacifist view than either author promotes, I can appreciate non-violence.)

The plot:

This story was inspired by the theme from the DiCaprio thriller, Inception—“When we die, we wake up.” It was a new and fascinating storyline and I found it to be original with sweet romance, a shot of mystery, and an adequate dose of suspense. It moved along very quickly for being 400+ pages, not lagging yet not quite reaching the pace intensity of a thriller or adventure novel. I really had no idea how it would end, but thought the conclusion was satisfying and gratifying. There is this one part where the main character talks about the American Civil War and I kind of got mad because it WAS NOT about slavery, but that’s a history lesson for another time.

The characters:

This story is told in first person present tense from the perspective of Ella Barnes/Sunlight Reflecting Off The Moon (Sunlight). I thought she was a relatable, engaging MC and it was made easy to relate to her as she tried to adjust to her new life, new planet, new family, and even new body.

Kindness is Sunlight’s soulmate and intended and their romance was adorable, sweet, and yet you could see that they had a strong and fireproof love that would get them through the tough times. Kindness was an astute diplomat and unwavering activist and I thought their determination in their fight against slavery was admirable.

My favorite characters were Tuck and Sea-Anna. Tuck was such a sensible and caring persona and he made me think of a cuddly little tiger cub that you just want to hug like a teddy bear. Both he and Kindess really reminded me of Maggie Streitvfer’s Sam Roth and I think he’s just one of the sweetest love interests ever.

Sea-Anna was timid, small, and easily frightened, but she was stronger than she thought and had a good heart and I wanted to put her some place safe and keep her away from all the villains who didn’t seem to care that she and the others had feelings, hearts, dreams, and fears. Together they made the cutest couple ever and I found it impossible not to smile when they were being sweet. Tuck and Sea-Anna are the MC’s for the second book, World of the Beasts, and I’m excited because I just adore them!

This book will appeal to fans of dystopia, fantasy, and maybe even sweet, clean paranormal romance. It certainly appealed to me and I look forward to the next in this series!

Add The Witches’ Sleep on Goodreads

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{Interview} Kaitlyn Deann author of The Witches’ Sleep

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So today I’m interviewing the lovely Kaitlyn Deann, author of The Witches’ Sleep (Available at Amazon) and World of the Beasts (Coming 2013!)

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First off, can you sum up The Witches’ Sleep in a tweet, 140 characters or less? (I’m mean, I know! =)
I CAN’T!!! D:
Haha, okay, here I go. *Inhale, exhale*
Ella’s killed and wakes up on a different planet as a new person. She learns that this place encourages slavery. Can she change this world?

Where did you get the idea for The Witches’ Sleep? What story/experience/event do you think inspired you the most?
The idea for The Witches’ Sleep was inspired by the movie Inception, when the main character said, “When we die, we’ll wake up.” That is how it all started. The thing that inspired me the most for writing The Witches’ Sleep would have to be the “events” I’ve read about that happened to slaves.

What is your favorite thing about Ella (your heroine)? Least favorite? How about Sea-Anna, the heroine of your second book?
My favorite thing about Ella/Sunlight (yeah, she has two names in the book) is her chutzpah. I guess my least favorite thing about her would be that she can be a bit dramatic in her head. With Sea-Anna, the main character of my second book, my favorite thing is her personality. My least favorite thing about her is her personality. Yeah, I don’t get it either.

In the event Ella escaped from her book, do you think that you and she would be BFFs, mortal enemies, or frenemies?
We’d be friends. Maybe best friends. Maybe.

If you could trade places with Ella, would you? Why?
Uh, that’s okay. I like my life, and I’m sure Ella likes hers. Thanks anyway.

Can you give us a hint of what to expect in the upcoming sequel to The Witches’ Sleep—World of the Beasts?
I can give you the summary of it!
Sea-Anna and Tuck have been weretiger slaves to the witches for over twenty years. But now, because their master happens to be the leader’s worst enemy, they have been sold to the beasts behind their master’s back. Sea-Anna and Tuck are separated, bought by two different beasts. Sea-Anna, who dreads the beasts more than anything, promises herself to stay strong, but not for herself, not to save her own life. She has to protect her secrets. But will she buckle under the pressure Aphalie, the world of the beasts, shoves at her? Or will she overcome the trials and become the weretiger she was always meant to be?

So far, what is your favorite part of being a published writer?
I love when people email me, tweet me, write me telling me how much they enjoyed my book, and telling me their favorite parts. I love interacting with people, encourage them in their dreams too, you know?

And now a few questions just for fun…

Your weapon of choice in the zombie apocalypse?
22. Yep.

You have three wishes and five seconds to choose. Go!
1) No more poverty
2) No one feeling insecure about their image or personality
3) Less bullying–of all kinds

King Arthur or Sir Lancelot?
King Arthur

What’s a question you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview? What’s your answer?
I’ve always wanted to be asked, “Kaitlyn, is writing your only dream?”
My answer would be, “No. In fact, I have a few dreams that top being a writer, and will always come before it. 1) I want to be a wife and spoil my husband one day. 2) I want to be a stay-at-home mom. 3) I want to homeschool my kids.”

Where can we find you online?
Website
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